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Old 08-29-2020, 03:18 PM   #1
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Any way to transfer content from home DVR or a recorded hard drive to RV?

We don't use our RV nearly enough, at least until I retire soon (2 years), to have a monthly cellular bill for WiFi access in the coach. The satellite dish on the roof is old and will not work with anything (2005 vintage), it's outdated and not compatible with today's systems. We have a good OTA antenna, but I'm looking for ways to bridge the gap in supplying us viewable content until such time we use the coach enough that it pays to have an additional cellular bill for internet access for streaming in the RV.



We have Directv at home. We have a DVR on it. Because of the cabinet and location that it's in, removing the DVR and installing it in the coach every time we use the RV is not practical. That's just not going to happen, it's too much of a pain to get it out of there.



We can certainly record lots of stuff at home, question is how do we get it to the RV? Is there a way to record on a hard drive from our computer or somehow copy the content on the DVR at home and somehow bring it to the RV to play in there? Anyone have any ideas along these lines?
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Old 08-29-2020, 06:29 PM   #2
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What type of DVR?



TiVo has a few options. Most cable company and satellite (non-TiVo) as far as I know don't have many options to transfer content.



You could also look at some of the streaming services. I believe Netflix allows downloading for offline playback.
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Old 08-29-2020, 08:22 PM   #3
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I believe DirectV has made it virtually impossible for the average person to download anything they saved on their system to playback somewhere else.
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Old 08-29-2020, 08:34 PM   #4
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There's no easy to "transfer" recordings from a DirecTV DVR to a hard drive. First, recordings are encrypted to the DVR that made them. Second, there's no digital way to do it. The only way is to record them from the DVR to a DVD-Recorder or PC with video capture hardware/software the "old fashioned" way .... using the DVR's video outputs.
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Old 08-30-2020, 08:47 AM   #5
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If you have a cell phone / data plan that supports Hotspot mode, then you can use that in your RV to connect a laptop or "smart TV" or "FireTV stick" or "Roku stick" or "Nvidia Shield" to your "dumb" TV to stream Netflix / Hulu and other online video content.

Note that streaming consumes a lot of data so be careful with what data plan you have so you don't exhaust it.

Yes, not easy to record protected DVR content which is purely intentional to maintain the content ownership of Hollywood. Yes you can put a digital capture device on the outputs (Hauppauge makes several) to record the content.

If you are at the house, you can stream and record online content using PlayOn software to record to a hard drive. You can then bring the NAS (Network Attached Storage: hard drive) into the RV and playback using one of the above "sticks" or SmartTV.

Plex and Kodi are popular software solutions to catalog and play back the movie / TV series. They have players for Windows, Android and iOS for most popular devices.

The "sticks" typically use Android as their operating system.

On my RV, I have the digitally recorded content on my home's NAS and when the RV is "docked" at Home, I use it's WiFi connection to automatically transfer the new content from the Home to the RV's NAS. So all the content is then available for a RV trip. Music, photos, movies, TV series.

So here is the chain of events:

Hollywood > streaming service (like Netflix) > Internet > Home PC running PlayON > Home's NAS > WiFi > RV's NAS > RV network > RV Smart TV running Kodi or Plex > Player (Kodi or Plex Client) > TV > Watch and Enjoy.
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Old 08-30-2020, 12:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dav L View Post
If you have a cell phone / data plan that supports Hotspot mode, then you can use that in your RV to connect a laptop or "smart TV" or "FireTV stick" or "Roku stick" or "Nvidia Shield" to your "dumb" TV to stream Netflix / Hulu and other online video content.

Note that streaming consumes a lot of data so be careful with what data plan you have so you don't exhaust it.

Yes, not easy to record protected DVR content which is purely intentional to maintain the content ownership of Hollywood. Yes you can put a digital capture device on the outputs (Hauppauge makes several) to record the content.

If you are at the house, you can stream and record online content using PlayOn software to record to a hard drive. You can then bring the NAS (Network Attached Storage: hard drive) into the RV and playback using one of the above "sticks" or SmartTV.

Plex and Kodi are popular software solutions to catalog and play back the movie / TV series. They have players for Windows, Android and iOS for most popular devices.

The "sticks" typically use Android as their operating system.

On my RV, I have the digitally recorded content on my home's NAS and when the RV is "docked" at Home, I use it's WiFi connection to automatically transfer the new content from the Home to the RV's NAS. So all the content is then available for a RV trip. Music, photos, movies, TV series.

So here is the chain of events:

Hollywood > streaming service (like Netflix) > Internet > Home PC running PlayON > Home's NAS > WiFi > RV's NAS > RV network > RV Smart TV running Kodi or Plex > Player (Kodi or Plex Client) > TV > Watch and Enjoy.
Thanks, David - you hit the issue on the button - assuming I have cellular service on my phone where we park, which is unusual, and then subsequently running into the laughably titled "unlimited" data caps and getting throttled down to unusable "unlimited" speeds all happens very quickly. Then you find yourself rapidly back to square one - no available data for streaming and no content to watch. I'd need something hardwired that needed no internet connection at all to function. That seems from the part of what you wrote that I do actually understand (about half, maybe....) not easily done.



I'm just looking for a way to get around all the gotcha's for getting TV content in the coach when it's used as we do, which is not too often. Paying for multiple cellular plans each month, only to cap each of them out quickly when you do use them and actually have service in your location, and also having to pay all of them each month when the coach isn't used every month doesn't make any sense.


With my dish being obsolete and unusable, buying a whole new dish setup, all the hassle with new 2 year contracts for service, when the technology is clearly dying doesn't seem to make much sense. The dish on my RV is the original from 2005 and from what I am told it won't work with anything offered from Dish or Directv. I'd have to buy a dish and installation, receiver(s), a new plan, etc. That just doesn't seem to make sense. If I could buy a receiver, hook it on my dish that I have now, stow it in the forward A/V cabinet and go, I'd look into it and likely do it, but it'll be a far more involved and costly proposition at this point for us.



Few people I have met know more about this subject than you, and seeing the complexities in the above hard drive content solution seems too complicated for me. If anyone knew of an easy way to do this independent of a data connection it wold be you.



I think for now I'll have no choice but to stick with whatever the OTA antenna picks up at the particular location we're at, and also pack along a few DVD's, and hope that the technology sector comes up with the replacement for satellite in RV's pretty soon.
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Old 08-30-2020, 12:24 PM   #7
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If staying at a campground you may have access to cable TV on your power pedestal... We use that, a FireStick, and content that we've downloaded to our devices (not at the same time )
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Old 08-30-2020, 12:41 PM   #8
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I We use that, a FireStick, and content that we've downloaded to our devices (not at the same time )

We have Netflix and Amazon Prime Video at home. I guess we can just download movies from home onto our devices (computers) and hook the computer to the HDMI on the tv, no? How much storage on a computer (Mac if it matters) or a Amazon Fire tablet does a typical movie take up? I guess the easiest way would be to buy a very large memory chip for our Fire tablet and use that as a portable storage device to play downloaded movies from. Has anyone done this on a Fire? My A/V receiver has a USB input, I guess I can hook the Fire tab to that, or I can if needed just use my Mac, assuming the drive has enough space. It has HDMI output. Or I can get a very large thumb drive, put it into the side of the Mac in the USB port and store the movies on there, no?
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Old 08-30-2020, 12:58 PM   #9
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https://www.playon.tv/


Allows you to download content to your computer. Then just transfer to a USB drive and plug it into your TV.
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Old 08-30-2020, 02:46 PM   #10
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I use this to record some of my DISH DVR recordings


HDML-Cloner Box, Standalone Mini 1080p Gaming and Video Capture Box. Lag-Free Video Pass-Through. No PC Required.



I bought on Amazon.


It will record onto a USB stick, but in real time only. A 2 hr show will take 2 hrs. Start a show when you go to bed and it will record during the night.
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Old 08-30-2020, 04:01 PM   #11
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We switched from Directv to Dish network since we could add the RV receiver for only $10 more per month as long as we had their service at our main home. We bought a Dish and receiver and installed ourselves and have so far ran into no signal issues while camping but, that will eventually happen just like you can lose cell service.
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Old 08-30-2020, 08:29 PM   #12
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Any Netflix or Amazon Prime gurus on here?

I think I may have a solution. I have a Amazon Fire tablet. I can hook that up to my TV with a mini HDMI to HDMI cable. I can put a large capacity storage chip in it, and depending on the chip size I can store LOTS of downloaded Netflix and Amazon Prime video on it. Here's the question - how long will those downloads stay available for us to view? I keep reading in Google searches on the topic that they will remain 48 hours to one week AFTER FIRST HITTING PLAY. Does that mean that as long as I do not start the movie they will stay available and ready to watch for however long I want? In other words, if I load up a tablet with Netflix movies at home then leave on a 6 week trip, will I be able to start and finish a movie in week 5?
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Old 08-30-2020, 09:42 PM   #13
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I just download from youtube on my laptop, saving to a 128Gb memory stick, plug the memory stick in a OTG powered multi-port hub that's powering my firestick (on sale this week) and watch on the TV via the firestick. I like having a remote while watching in bed like the firestick provides.

I used to connect a HDMI cable from the laptop to the TV but I had to put a towel over the screen because the screen was lit which was very distracting with 2 screens flashing, maybe one a little out of sync from the other and the laptop must be kept open - but I kept kicking the plug out of the laptop next to me on the bed and always had to get up and fiddle with the laptop to pause or start the movie again, etc..

As far as ever getting your stuff copied off a satellite provider DVR you can pretty much forget that one. And actually any of these methods including the one I just described, you won't do it more than a couple of times and then you'll very likely give up saying "too much trouble". It takes a lot of dedicated time to stock up media even if you know exactly what you want to see in the future and can do it via a couple of push buttons.

In fact I always say the movie companies waste way too much time on copy protect. If they only knew how lazy everyone was and how they give up copying even something simple like saving a movie to hard disk, there's really no danger anything will get copied that often, or for very long that is. Laziness rules! LOL

And there's also DVD backup software that can allow you to save movies you've purchased but again after a while, transferring from one platform to another gets old fast.

Good luck - it can be done. I just added a Raspberry Pi 4 and a small hard drive (12v power) and now I share my media drive. I can use any device to watch or listen, laptop, firstick, tablet or phone. Even blue tooth over the coach radio but .... TOO MANY STEPS ... LOL
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Old 08-30-2020, 10:54 PM   #14
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OK, another question. Again, I apologize for my lack of basic tech knowledge. I have a Amazon Fire Stick on my TV. I have a Macbook Pro laptop. I also have a Amazon Fire tablet. Can the laptop or the tablet be connected to the Firestick wirelessly WITHOUT an internet signal (WiFi or cellular provided)? Basically, asked another way, can they talk directly to each other without being on the internet? If so then all this is easy for me.



At the risk of opening a Pandora's box, Don Juane - how do you get the Firestick to see the content on the thumbdrive?
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